Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I put one of my presents to good use this morning

I got a 10-piece set of Farberware cookware for Christmas from my mother and grandmother. It has two skillets, two saucepans, a dutch oven, stainless steel with glass lids for everything except the small skillet, and a cookie sheet. Much better than the 1.5 quart saucepan I had to cook with. :) For so long I didn't have a working stove (I lived in an apartment where the landlord brought in ones that caught on fire and another apartment had one that put out a lot of carbon monoxide when I cooked). I got into the habit of just microwaving almost everything. I had one enameled pan the size of a dutch oven for years that had been given to me by someone (it had been in his family for quite some time) and it finally gave out last year when a hole formed. Nothing like a peeing pot to ruin your day. So the rare times I've made macaroni and cheese or similar things, I've had to use a tiny saucepan, which works, barely.

No more. I made some scrambled eggs for breakfast and was quite happy. But the best thing of all is with these, I can actually cook. I'm not a great one, but I have lots of cookbooks and can follow a recipe. So I'm excited.

I never really wrote about my visit home. It was kind of mixed. My stepfather was stressed over getting the house ready for Christmas the next day, so he left and went to his mom's while we ate fish and chips. My mom visited awhile and then he came to pick her up and they went home to clean. I visited with my grandmother for about four hours before they came to pick me up, which wasn't bad, but I would have liked to have spent some more time with my mother as well. I see her just a few times a year and she usually has to go to work or something like that. They could have cleaned after I left; I'd have even left earlier if it would have helped. So that was a little disappointing. I was only able to drop off gifts at the end, so I didn't get to see them opened. My mother did receive the cameo with mother and child that I'd ordered online and had worn it that day, quite pleased with it. I think I chose well. I'd given John a gift certificate to Best Buy and my mom a calendar just in case she didn't receive her gift, so she'd have something to unwrap. My grandmother was the sticky one. What do you give an 85-year-old woman who doesn't go out shopping a lot (hence gift cards are out) who has just about everything under the sun? I wound up giving her a gift set with cheese and mustard with a marble cheese cutter. I hope she likes it, but I wasn't particularly satisfied with that one. I thought about getting her a gift certificate to the grocery, since her medicines are costly, but that seemed a little too impersonal.

I don't know if my grandmother has really changed that much from Thanksgiving of if I were seeing her on an off day. Perhaps the knowledge of the cancer is colouring my impressions, but she seemed shrunken into herself and not feeling particularly well. But we had a nice visit, and she showed me exactly how to make creamed peas, one of my favourites. I knew in theory, but hadn't actually been shown. She did try to cook me a hamburger and I had to nix that (it's been 18 years since I've had beef, but she still feel obligated to offer me meat). But the peas were quite nice. Anyway, that was Christmas at the family's. Christmas is such a stressed time in the year, I'm surprised anyone can maintain the spirit. But I was laid back and just tried to go with the flow, and I had a pretty nice day.

Yesterday I overslept and so came in late to work (but they were pretty slow, so that was okay with my shift leader; she was just worried about me when she called). We were relatively steady. People expressed sympathy for us working on Christmas and were apologetic that they were taking advantage of it. Beer, milk, cigarettes, and batteries were the main purchases. We don't carry eggs or the like, so we sent them to Walgreens, the only other place I know of that was open, for those. Some people balked at the price of batteries or fruit. Well, the batteries were probably cheaper at Walgreens, but they don't carry fruit. I really don't understand how people can be surprised at convenient store prices when they obviously were the ones that didn't plan ahead when the other stores were open. And because we're right in front of Krogers, and people couldn't get anyone there to answer, they called us to see if they were open. No, they weren't, not even for a little while. Are you sure? I used to work for Kroger's. It's the only day of the year they shut down all day. Trust me, there's not a car in the lot. I dealt with a lot of incredulity that there weren't more places open on Christmas for their convenience. The only other place I saw open was the Chinese restaurant up the way from us, one of the only reasons in the past I've been able to eat on Christmas. As my Jewish friend puts it, Jews tend to eat Chinese on Christmas because they're the only restaurants open. :)

It was hard to remember to wish people a happy holiday (I'd had mine with my family the day before, after all, and 'Merry Christmas' doesn't come tripping easily off my tongue, although I will tell someone that if they tell me first, as they're obviously Christian in doing so. I wished others a good night or 'Happy Holdiday'.) But part of me wanted to say, don't feel bad, it's not my holiday, I'd rather the ones with little ones were home on Christmas, and I get double time. :) Needless to say, I didn't go there.

I was going to spend some time with a friend, so I left work an hour early (we were told we could if it were alright with the other person), but she wasn't feeling up to visiting after all, although she came and took me home and we talked for about an hour in the car. I think I helped her feel a little better, and I gave her a gift card from the store that she could use for gas or food, since she's had a difficult time since losing her job in May. She's been dealing with an illness, unemployment, and the loss of a four-year relationship for months now, and people keep telling her she needs to go on anti-depressants and just move on. People don't get it sometimes. People mourn in their own time, and although drugs might help (they've certainly helped me over the years), they don't solve every problem.

Last night I worked on notes and I'm going to finish up this morning. I won't have time to go to Walgreens and back as the bus runs every hour and I have to be at work at 2 (even though I went to bed at 10:30 last night, my body refused to wake up until 10 this morning). So I'm going to go do that now, and get my prescriptions on Monday, I guess.

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